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A Complete Guide to Node.js: 2022 and Beyond

03/01/2023

A Complete Guide to Node.js: 2022 and Beyond

Node.js can be defined as an open-source cross-platform runtime environment popularly used for building web applications that run outside browsers. Many leading industry giants leverage this cutting-edge technology for its many benefits. Most industry experts predict that the platform will become more popular in the future. This technology is ideal for server-side development. For your information, Node.js has experienced a surge in popularity in the last few years. It is expected to last well beyond 2022. Utilizing this platform will make your applications future-proof as well as modern. 

At the heart of Node.js is Google Chrome’s JavaScript Engine V8. The latter is event-driven and comes with non-blocking I/O properties. Node.js is ideal for building high-performance real-time applications and comes with ease of scalability. The latter property is especially important for enterprises as future market demand cannot be predicted in the present.  Note that Node.js is not a programming language or library. It is based on JavaScript, arguably the most popular programming language in the world today.

A person named Ryan Dahl invented this technology in 2009. Popular uses of Node.js are developing social media apps, audio/video streaming apps as well as chatbots. To put it simply Node.js is a runtime environment (RTE) employed to run many web apps. The RTE provides web APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to create code and a JavaScript engine to parse the code.

Important Features of Node.js

  • Large and Growing Node.js community– If developers encounter challenges during the development process, they can approach the Node.js global community for help. There will always be support in case of any doubts or queries. 
  • Event-driven Programming – When users click mouse buttons or press any key the app responds instantaneously. Here, the flow of program execution is as per events. 
  • Microservices- Instead of having a single monolithic structure the app can be divided into multiple independent units. As such development and testing can happen in parallel. Any unit can be deployed without waiting for the completion of other units. Modifications can be made to a component without bringing the whole application to a halt. Also, changes made to a unit do not affect other parts of the application. Maintenance and testing are easier as well as more convenient.
  • Node Package Manager (NPM)– NPM is the world’s biggest software registry. It contains hundreds of thousands of modules that can be used by Node.js developers for their purposes. As such developers do not have to build everything from scratch. They can download and integrate modules in the application with the desired functionality and features. To your knowledge, new modules are continuously being added to the NPM. This makes the development of Node.js apps cheaper, faster, and with reduced effort. Free modules are a major asset of Node.js.
  • Libuv -This is a cross-platform C library designed to keep the Node.js environment in mind. Thanks to it there is constant processing of the single thread leveraging the event loop. The library makes a pool with a maximum of four threads to be processed concurrently. Also, it dispatches requests to the OS. In Node.js the app works continuously without waiting time. This is the hallmark of the technology making it perfect for applications that cannot afford waiting periods.
  • Non-blocking I/O– Usually a separate thread is started for each request in applications created using other technologies. There is a waiting period in case some processing has to be done or input is required from the user. In the Node.js model, there is a single thread. If there is a task requiring waiting time then the single thread is assigned to another user. Note that the main advantage of Node.js is that it is an asynchronous technology involving zero waiting time. This makes it attractive to users most of whom do not have the patience to wait. Thanks to the single-thread model the app can handle multiple client requests. The input and output tasks in the background are done on separate threads. If required database interaction is done by the other threads while the single thread works on the next task.
  • Superior Scalability– Node.js apps offer ease of scalability vertically as well as horizontally. Additional resources can be added to existing nodes in vertical scaling. In the case of horizontal scaling, you can add new nodes accelerating the development effort.

Quality Node.js Frameworks Useful for Web App Development

  • Nest

This framework is perfect for building enterprise applications. Advantages offered by this Node.js framework include exceptional flexibility, ease of scalability as well as superior interactivity.

  • Sails

This framework is analogous to MVC (Model View Controller) architecture frameworks. The former offers compatibility with existing databases.

  • Hapi

This is a popular framework employed by several famous organizations. This Node.js framework comes with powerful authentication tools as well as monitoring features. The former is suitable for designing large-sized applications.

  • Koa

This high-performing framework is usually the first choice for creating web apps as well as microservers. The former works well with asynchronous code.

  • Express

This framework is a favorite for many enterprises. It functions very well with the modules of Node.js. Express is lightweight in nature and offers numerous plugins.

Organizations That Have Adopted Node.js

Many big names have adopted Node.js because of its power-packed performance. Some even took the risk of adopting this technology when it was in its infancy. Those who did so have reaped rich dividends in terms of enhanced market brand, revenues, and profits. We take a look at some of the adopters of Node.js. 

  • Walmart

This company is the biggest retailer in the world today. It is also ramping up its online presence to keep up with changing trends. By adopting Node.js it is able to handle a load of many users simultaneously using its services.  Asynchronous I/O and superior handling of concurrent requests drove Walmart’s adoption of this modern technology.

  • Trello

Trello is a popular and powerful project management app used by many companies. This app is used for communication and collaboration for work purposes among employees in organizations. Node.js was employed to build Trello’s server part. 

  • NASA

This organization is the United States civilian space agency. Its priority is the safety of its astronauts in the organization’s several space missions. The right technology can save precious lives and prevent adverse incidents. The minimum access period and a superior capacity to handle data-intensive tasks were factors influencing NASA’s choice of Node.js.

  • LinkedIn

This is the world’s largest professional social network. Node.js powers LinkedIn’s mobile app backend. By leveraging Node.js the app experienced a two to tenfold increase in speed. Also, the app was relatively lightweight when benchmarked against its predecessor. Finally, very less time was taken to design, build and deploy this app.

  • Netflix

Most of us have heard of this company. Many enjoy the movies and tv shows of this entertainment streaming service. Netflix boasts millions of subscribers across the world today. By using Node.js the app became relatively lightweight as well as fast. Users experienced as much as a seventy percent decrease in startup time thus alleviating the user experience. As you probably know, happier customers mean enhanced loyalty as well as word-of-mouth publicity.

  • Uber

This ride-hailing company was one of the earliest adopters of Node.js technology. It obtained an app that was extremely productive and worked on different devices. The solution enabled the processing of billions of requests on a daily basis. Also, the company got the ability to match multiple customers desiring rides to Uber’s drivers in just fractions of seconds.

Reasons to Use Node.js

This modern technology is based on the popular programming language namely JavaScript. As you may already know, there exists a large pool of JavaScript developers. The latter can learn and work with Node.js easily and quickly. So, app development is quick and easy. There exists a large Node.js community available for support and doubt clarification. Node.js offers ease and convenience of scalability. The latter is especially necessary in the future in case of market demand fluctuations.  Caching feature of Node.js helps in quicker loading time. The apps can run on virtually any platform. Helps in efficient and effective real-time applications. The technology saves money as well as requires less time to develop compared to contemporary technologies. A useful feature of this platform is that there is no buffering. The same technology is used for both the front-end and back-end development of a particular application.  So, no need to spend time, money, and effort on separate development teams which usually is the case.

Conclusion

Now that you are familiar with the Node.js technology and are aware of the benefits of leveraging the platform it is time to take the next step. Brainstorm about your requirements and preferences that you expect from the application to be developed using Node.js. Consult all the stakeholders of your company and keep them in the loop. Invite suggestions from them and create a document with the proposed app’s features and functionalities. If you do not have the expertise and experience in Node.js then it is apt to outsource the app development to an external app development firm. In countries such as India, you will get quality developers at reasonable rates. Communicate your budget and deadlines to potential outsourcing firms. Ask them if they are comfortable with your requirements.  Has an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) been signed at the onset to protect your business secrets and knowledge? Another essential step is to have an SLA (Service Level Agreement) in place which clearly outlines the response time from the outsourcing firm’s end.

About Us

Focaloid is a stellar software development products and services company catering to clients in the US & UK. We have the necessary expertise and experience in Node.js. For your information, Focaloid has a team of talented and seasoned professionals with extensive expertise in Node.js. Over time we have established a mature outsourcing model which is productive, efficient as well as effective. You can safely rely on us to deliver outstanding software solutions and services within stipulated deadlines. Contact us at your earliest to know how we can help you. We are committed to superior client satisfaction and mutual growth.

 

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